I’ve had the pleasure of booking Oliviero for multiple shows at Room 5. Whether performing solo, as a duo with his bassist Donovan Bullen or with his full 4-piece band, he has consistently been able to draw 50+ paid fans and friends. He shows great versatility in his ability to tailor his arrangements to fill a rock venue with upbeat, dynamic and bombastic sounds, or to set the tone for a more intimate evening with vulnerable and emotional songs. He has always been professional and lovely to deal with, making booking and pre-show communication easy. His music is a must for any type of venue!
Oliviero are a force to be reckoned with. Mike, Donovan, Cara and Dave are not afraid to push the boundaries of their sound and arrangements. Not conforming to tradition, structure or form, they explore a wide range of dynamics, not just across the “If You’re Going to Be a Bear” EP, but within the songs themselves. Textural and thought provoking lyrics that really take you on a journey, keep you captivated and wanting more! It was a real pleasure to help mix these songs. The four of them brought so much to the table and have such a clear sense of what they want that it makes my job so much more satisfying to try to fully achieve their vision.
Mike Oliviero has a natural ability to craft great songs that get you dancing, and thinking deeply on an intellectual level. His melodic choices are surprising and extremely satisfying. These are songs that you want to listen to again and again, because each time you discover something new and beautiful. His band is phenomenal to watch live. Cara Batema plays sometimes 3 or 4 instruments during a song, with grace and focus, Donovan Bullen has amazing energy, and fills in the low-end with perfection, and Dave Widaman carries the group with his thoughtful and powerful drum fills. This band is something that everyone needs to see live, your minds will be permanently blown.
Mike Oliviero is a craftsperson of a rare, high order. His lines arise from a poet’s eye and rise with a singer’s ear. He shapes complex, dimensional music. And in the end, these precise, intellectual soundscapes break open and flood with thick emotion. I find his music endlessly engaging and deeply moving.
Every now and then, an artist turns up with that “spark” - that little something that you want to know them better. Oliviero is one of those artists and one of those bands. He is a compelling singer, songwriter and sound designer with a nuance that will stick with you for a long time. “If You’re Going to Be a Bear” is a brilliant album worth listening to repeatedly. This is an artist to contend with.
Mike is the architect of a reality in which you follow a crazy guy into the forest because he has convinced you there is a mystical place just around the bend. You never know if you’ve arrived, but the adventures along the way extinguish all doubt that you in fact have.
I had the pleasure of listening to Oliviero’s EP before it was released and was immediately struck by how melodic the songs are. The nice melodies and thoughtful lyrics are well supported by the nice arrangements and production sense.